Opening that 1966 debate [on legalising homosexuality] the late Leo Abse said: “It would be as well, perhaps, to remind the House of other occasions on which legislation which impinges upon human relationships has come before the House. There was ... the Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act, which finally became law in 1907, which ... ended the prohibition on a man marrying the sister of his dead wife . . .
“No one reading the debates ... can but wonder [at reaction in] those days of yesteryear ... the passions that were aroused seem almost droll, and the threats to family stability and the institution of marriage ... now seem historical curiosities.”
And then Nadine Dorries, the Conservative (or semi-detached Conservative - she still has not had the whip restored) MP went next.
She said that the bill would not encourage people in gay relationships to stay faithful.
This bill in no way makes a requirement of faithfulness from same-sex couples. In fact, it does the opposite.
In a heterosexual marriage a couple can divorce for adultery, and adultery is if you have sex with a member of the opposite sex. In a heterosexual marriage a couple vow to forsake all others ... A gay couple have no obligation to make that vow [to faithfulness] because they do not have to forsake all others because they cannot divorce for adultery. There is no requirement of faithfulness. And if there is no requirement of faithfulness, what is a marriage?
Myth: Adultery won’t be grounds for divorce among same sex couples.
Fact: Adultery will remain grounds for dissolving a marriage, whether between a same sex or opposite sex couple. However, adultery has a very specific meaning in English law and therefore some forms of sexual infidelity do not currently fit the legal criteria for adultery – including where a party to a heterosexual marriage has a relationship with a member of the same sex. In such cases the marriage can be dissolved on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. This will apply equally to couples in same sex marriages, therefore no inequality is created.
We have profound reservations about same sex marriage not just because of the harm it does to a vital heterosexual institution but also because we reject the implication that in order to be equal and respected homosexuals should conform to heterosexual norms and be in effect the same as heterosexuals. In this sense we believe same sex marriage to be homophobic – it demands recognition for gay relationships but at the price of submitting those relationships to heterosexual definition.
But where is the evidence in his writing of domestic social liberalism? It doesn't exist. Passionately pro marriage, he opposes statutory paternity pay, stem cell research, euthanasia and contraception for school children, but supports privatisation of both the BBC and the NHS, and proposes the marketisation of immigration policy, whereby a British passport could, he suggests, be sold for £10,000.
Conservative attorneys did not argue that gays or lesbians engaged in "immoral" behavior or lifestyles. Instead they emphasized what they called the "very real threat" to society posed by opposite-sex couples when they are not bound by the strictures of marriage.
After driving Alan Turing to suicide - after he helped them remain a free nation - the least they could do in his memory is pass same sex marriage.
They wouldn't wed just because of the spiritual and emotional aspects, she says, but because right now the couple's children, who will soon be 22 and 25 years old, have more legal rights than they do.
Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham, said he would vote against the bill at third reading. He said that marriage revolved around children.
Lyn Brown, the Labour MP for West Ham, said Timms attended her wedding. Timms must have noticed that she was above child bearing age when she got married. Did that make her marriage invalid? Timms said he was speaking about church teaching hundreds of years ago.
Craig Whittaker, a Conservative, said it would be better for the government to create a new category of marriage called state marriage. That could replace civil partnerships, and it would allow gay people to be married without undermining religious marriage.
Actually, we don't need to imagine because we have Peter Bone. It is apparently the "saddest day of his career as an MP" and astonishingly he somehow manages to bring the EU referendum into it all.
Uh... my mother was born before Turing died and I'm a whopping 26 (admittedly, Turing died three months to the day after my mother was born). My grandad is still alive. In other words, Turing's lifetime is very much within living memory. And if you meant the war rather than Turing's lifetime, that's still very much within living memory as well. We're at the point where there aren't that many people who fought in the war still around, but loads of people who were old enough to have clear memories of it are.
Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee, said that he would be voting against the bill. He was in favour of civil partnerships and lowering the age of consent, he said. Those measures were about protecting gay people from inequality. But this bill will not do that, he said.
John Glen, a Conservative, said he was opposed. The bill would create "legislative anomalies". But he regretted that he had been called a homophobe. And he said that the language used by some groups to describe supporters of the bill had been appalling.
“Separate but equal” is a fraud.
“Separate but equal” is the language that tried to push Rosa Parks to the back of the bus.
“Separate but equal” is the motif that determined that black and white could not possibly drink from the same water fountain, eat at the same table or use the same toilets.
“Separate but equal” are the words that justified sending black children to different schools from their white peers – schools that would fail them and condemn them to a life of poverty.
It is an excerpt from the phrasebook of the segregationists and the racists.
Regardless, I think a government owes some amount of responsibility for its past actions even if everyone is long dead.
So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better.
Turing's dead, obviously, but there are loads of people with convictions for 'gross indecency' (i.e. being gay) who are still living and and whose lives are still being affected by that. Officially, convictions have been "deleted", but, as people predicted in at the time, the police still have access to the information and act on it (and follow-up--as far as I can tell, there's been no denial of what Tatchell reports, only a 'be careful and don't do it' from the ACPO.) That's the real point here.
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